Jacques Chirac, everyone's favourite French president, has announced something interesting.
No, that's not the news.
In a speech, he referred to an EU search engine in development, known as Quaero (latin for I seek). It will be able to 'understand audio' and have advanced translation technologies. Chirac sees it as a European answer to the 'challenge' posed by Google and Yahoo. It is funded by a combination of governments and companies, including Thomson, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom. It will function on many different platforms, including computers, handhelds and even TVs.
I'm not sure its as interesting for us Britishers as it is for the rest of Europe. It's obviously designed with a heavy focus on translation, presumably to open up the US web to non-English speaking Europe. We don't have that problem, so I expect I will continue to Google along with the rest of Britain for at least the forseeable future (not that I have much choice - any alpha let alone beta looks a very long way off).